Did you make money betting the NFL on Sunday? Odds are that you did as the sportsbooks suffered their third straight losing week.
If you follow our plays in this column (which, for the uninitiated, is a daily extension of our regular column in VSiN’s “Point Spread Weekly” online magazine), then you certainly had a winning day as we won with our best bets on the Bengals, Lions and Colts with the Bears being the only dud. In addition, we swept all our recommended teaser plays with the Broncos from Thursday night, plus the Packers and Dolphins on Sunday.
But even if you just played your own picks, you probably came out ahead as most of the popular side came through for bettors, even though chalk was just 5-5 ATS on the day. That’s because some of the underdogs that covered – Bengals, Titans and Colts – were popular plays as well (see Contest Corner and my “Takeaways” below).
So, let’s go over our general recaps of Sunday’s action as well as those two other sections before looking at the Monday night matchup.
NFL: Colts (+ 3, + 130 money line) beat 49ers 30-18 on Sunday Night Football. Faves went 6-4 SU on Sunday with Eagles-Raiders closing pick-'em, but split 5-5 ATS (Lions covered as 16.5-point road dog at Rams in SU loss as only game where the winning team didn’t cover). Despite San Fran's loss, home teams led 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS on the day while Unders led 6-5. Including Thursday Night Football, faves are 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS so far in Week 7 with 1 PK while home teams lead 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS and Unders lead 7-5. On the season, faves lead 64-39 SU (with 3 pick-’ems), but dogs still lead 55-48 ATS (53.4 percent). Road teams still lead 54-49 SU (3 neutral-site games, including Packers-Saints in Week 1 and 2 London games) and 58-45 ATS (56.6 percent). Unders lead 57-47-2 (54.8 percent). Also, primetime Overs (which started the season at 6-0) are 1-1 so far this week and 12-7-1 on season, so Unders actually lead 7-6-1 since that hot Over trend.
More NFL: In Sunday’s early games: faves and dogs split 3-3 SU and ATS, including the Falcons closing -1.5 and covering in their 30-28 win at the Dolphins. We grade against the consensus closing lines because that’s after everyone has had their input (oddsmakers, bookmakers, early bettors, sharp bettors, public bettors, late bettors, etc.), but obviously a lot of people cashed on the Dolphins + 2.5 as that was available most of the week, including the big Vegas contest as you’ll see below. The upsets were by the Bengals (+ 6 in 41-17 rout at the Ravens), Giants (+ 3 in 25-3 rout vs. the Panthers) and Titans (+ 4 in 27-3 rout vs. the Chiefs). Home teams were 4-2 SU and ATS in the early games while Over/Unders split 3-3. In the “afternoon games” (4 p.m. hour ET/1 p.m. hour PT), faves went 3-0 SU with Eagles-Raiders closing pick-'em, but just 2-1 ATS as the Lions (+ 16.5 at Rams) covered in their 28-19 SU loss, The Buccaneers (-12 vs. the Bears) and Cardinals (-20 vs. the Texans) covered their big spreads.
NBA: Faves went 4-2 SU on Sunday, but split 3-3 ATS as the Lakers (-5 in 121-118 win vs. Grizzlies) avoided a 0-3 SU start to the season but fell to 0-3 ATS. Outright upsets were by the Hornets (+ 9 at Nets) and Magic (+ 12 at Knicks). Road teams were 5-1 SU but a perfect 6-0 ATS with Memphis' cover at L.A. Over/Unders split 3-3.
NHL: Underdogs (all on the road) went 3-1 Sunday with upsets by the Predators (+ 155 at Wild), Red Wings (+ 135 at Blackhawks) and Islanders (+ 110 at Golden Knights). The Bruins (-210) were the only fave to win on the day. Overs went 3-1 with the only Under in the Islanders' 2-0 win in Vegas.
Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 4-1 in Week 7 (23-12 on season) as the top choice, Colts + 4 at San Francisco, won on Sunday Night Football. The other winners were Bengals + 6.5 at Ravens, Patriots -7 vs.Jets and Titans + 4.5 vs. KC. The lone loss was by Eagles + 3 at RLV
Circa Survivor had 6 eliminated with the 49ers on SNF, but it was another week of minimal eliminations as 66 exited with Ravens, 14 on Panthers, 2 on Broncos, 2 on Chiefs, 1 on Dolphins and 2 with no pick. The field is down to 2,131 with 19 on Saints on Monday Night Football.
SuperContest Top 5 went 4-1 (19-15-1 on season) as top choice, Colts + 4, won on SNF. Other winners were Titans + 5.5, Bengals + 6.5 and Patriots -7; Eagles + 3 lost; SuperContest Gold Top 5 went 4-1 with same plays (19-15-2) except Dolphins + 2.5 instead of Patriots.
1. It’s long amazed me how people react to me posting the consensus plays over the years in the SuperContest and now the Circa Sports Million. If the Top 5 are having a great record, people say “of course they’re doing great; these people put up good money and are very sharp” and feel like they’ve found the magic formula of how to beat the books. Conversely, if the consensus is struggling below .500, tons of people say “these clowns sucks” and “we should fade them” (or claim to be making a killing while fading the top picks, though no one ever offers any proof LOL). But the reason I track these has very little to do with saying you should bet these plays or fade them. I mostly do it to track how the field is doing on a given week and show contestants which picks they should be cheering against (unless you have a given Top 5 pick or two) to make up ground on the field. If you go 5-0 or 4-1 in a week where the consensus goes 2-3, you know you passed a lot more rivals than in a week like one where it goes 4-1. Another main reason I track the Top 5 records is it’s a great barometer of how the public did against the books. Without hearing from any sports books directors, we can be pretty sure that the books had a rough Sunday when the Top 5 goes 4-1. So, think of this when you see the consensus plays each week (besides, these picks usually include lines that have moved a couple of points or around key numbers, so you’re usually taking the worst of it if tailing the picks anyway).
2. I saw some people Tweeting about how home teams were doing so well on Sunday, but it wasn’t that great as home teams ended up just 8-5 SU and 7-5 ATS on the day. Home-field advantage is still negligible as road teams still lead 54-49 SU (with 3 neutral-site games) and 55-48 ATS (53.5 percent) on the season. It’s the same across all sports, Look at how road teams went a combined 9-1 ATS on Sunday in the NBA and NHL. It’s funny how people will say how important having the fans back in the stands when a home team wins, but the overall numbers don’t bear that out.
3. I’ve been meaning to mention this last point for a few weeks (especially in NFL Week 5 when NY Giants QB Daniel Jones suffered a concussion on a big hit and several other QBs were injured. Call me old-fashioned if you want, but I really feel like QBs are running way too much. So many of them have had success running the ball (heck, Sam Darnold ran in 5 TDs in the first few weeks) that it seems like they no longer fear. I know it’s the current rage with all these young QBs, but we saw again Sunday with many QBs getting dinged up (Patrick Mahomes, Kyle Murray Justin Fields, the list goes on and on, I wish I had compiled a list as each one limped off). I really feel we need to include this when handicapping games because you have to include the likelihood that your starting QB might not finish a given game. Most of the QBs have been lucky so far, but the more hits they take, the more likely we’re going to see more and more get knocked out of games.
Seahawks (+ 5) vs. Saints: As we do every week, I post the line we originally wrote earlier in the week in PSW and update as the lines move during the week. The 5’s are long gone as the public has also liked this underdog with the way Geno Smith has played in the last two weeks, albeit in relief of Russell Wilson in losses to the Rams and Steelers. Hopefully RB Alex Collins is good to go as coach Pete Carroll said over the weekend, so he can be used to slow down the Saints’ pass rush like he did against the Steelers. The line is mostly + 4, but I wouldn’t take any lower.
Good luck today (and every day!).